French media eyes Turkish drones during Erdoğan’s Africa trip

The possible sale of Turkish UAVs to Angola was discussed during Erdoğan’s visit on Monday, while similar talks are also expected to be held during his trip to Nigeria, the report noted. The Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is the obvious choice, since it has already proven itself on the battlefield.

The report underlined that this particular UAV – either operated by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) or the countries that purchased it – neutralized senior PKK [leader] Ismail Özden in Iraq….

The UAVs were also used against…Gen. Khalifa Haftar and Russian mercenaries in Libya, defeated Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria’s Idlib province and ensured Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenian occupation forces during the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, it [Le Figaro] noted.

Le Figaro‘s report dubbed the Turkish UAVs as a “dream weapon,” stressing that they are 20 times cheaper than warplanes and do not endanger the lives of its pilots.

“They have become a vector of Turkish influence in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. It is the influence that Erdoğan cleverly develops without engaging in conflict with countries more powerful than him, such as the United States, China and Russia. But he is not afraid to challenge less powerful countries like France. (Erdoğan) won the arm wrestling against France off the Libyan coast in June 2020,” it said.

It said that Turkey sells UCAVs to Ethiopia, Tunisia and Morocco, and those products “are cheaper than their Western counterparts and better quality than the Chinese ones.”

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…Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank…on Friday said Turkey had presented options to the United Kingdom, which is “very interested” in buying Turkish-made armed drones.

Ukraine and Turkey’s NATO partner Poland have also ordered armed drones….[Also Albania.]